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Interview with Clare Chase. Author of A Stranger’s House.

Interview with Clare Chase. Author of A Stranger’s House.

I have been a fan of Clare Chase since I read her first book ‘You Think You Know Me’ back in 2014. So I was very pleased to hear that Clare had written another book ‘A Stranger’s House‘ which has just been published in paperback. (February 7th 2017). I reviewed this book previously and you can read my review HERE!

Today, I have the honour of asking the very talented Clare a few questions. So I cordially introduce to the the wonderful Clare Chase, Author of You Think You Know Me. A Stranger’s House and One Dark Lie.  

Check out these other blogs on the book tour.

ash-blog-tour

 

Hi Clare, Can you tell us a little about your book ‘A Stranger’s House’?

Hi Amanda – thanks so much for having me on your blog today!

A Stranger’s House opens just after the heroine, Ruby, has walked out on her unfaithful partner. With nowhere else to go, the house-sitting job she’s offered in Cambridge seems like a godsend: a way to escape the gossips in her village and earn some extra cash at the same time. But it’s not long before she starts to feel uneasy. The signs of the absent-owner’s dysfunctional life are everywhere, from the unsettling paintings on his bedroom wall, to the bloodstain on the rug in his sitting room. As Ruby pieces together clues from his home, she feels closer and closer to a man she’s never met, and would rather be distanced from.

In an effort to take control, she starts to dig for information, but Nate, who owns the house-sitting business, is dead against her sleuthing.  It leaves Ruby wondering what he has to hide. When she finally unearths his secret, it knocks her for six.

Where did your inspiration come from for the plot and characters? Did you take inspiration for characters from anyone you know?

I’ve always been fascinated by what you can glean about people from looking at their home environment, and it was this that gave me the idea for the book.

When creating characters I sometimes pinch aspects of people I know, but in the main they develop inside my head and are almost entirely made up!

 

 

Do you have a favourite place to write? And is it tidy or a mess of papers?

 I’m happy to write pretty much anywhere, and have a nice, light laptop with good battery life! When I’m at home I frequently avoid our study (which is messy and currently home to things like an old chemistry set, some woodwork tools and a cuckoo clock, all waiting to be freecycled)! My favourite place to work is the kitchen, which is nice and light with a view of the back garden.

I don’t tend to have too many papers around since I mainly work on my computer, after an initial stage of scribbling ideas into notebooks.

 

Did you have to do much research for this book? Do you have any amusing tales of while you were ‘researching’? 

A lot the background knowledge that went into A Stranger’s House was gleaned through living in Cambridge for over twenty years, so effectively I’ve been absorbing information as I go along. I find it’s the perfect setting for crime fiction. Despite being a city, it’s fairly small, so inequalities are concentrated.  You get millionaire Nobel laureates living cheek-by-jowl with squatters, and while there are college choirs singing Elizabethan madrigals by the river, there are also drunks dealing drugs on the commons. The contrasts can be stark and I imagine life must seem very unjust to some of the city’s residents. Cambridge’s size means news travels fast, too. A high proportion of the locals work for the university, and if you want to keep a secret you have to be careful who you talk to! And then there are the rivalries which abound in both academia and industry, which can lead to tensions too. The stakes are high, and when people have a lot to lose, there’s potential for conflict.

I used to work at the university and also one of its colleges, and I’ve overheard some interesting things, but I probably shouldn’t repeat them here!

 

 You have two great characters, I found Ruby to be so developed in your writing that I could understand her thoughts and actions. Did you know the characters Ruby and Nate before you wrote them or did they develop as the book did?

Thanks, Amanda! I did a lot of thinking about both Ruby and Nate’s back stories before I started writing, and that dictated their main character traits. So I feel I knew them pretty well before I began the book. Having said that, each time they were faced with a new situation I got to know them that bit better as I realised exactly how they’d react in that particular circumstance.

 

Were there any ‘deleted scenes’ that we might be intrigued about?

In the original version of A Stranger’s House, Ruby was pregnant. As you can imagine, the reworked version involved quite a few tweaks!

What book are you reading now and who are your favourite Authors?

I’ve just started The Zig Zag Girl by Elly Griffiths, which is the first in her Stephens and Mephisto series set in Brighton in 1950. I’m a massive fan of her Dr Ruth Galloway mysteries, and having read them all I’m delighted there’s another set of books to immerse myself in! As for my favourite authors, I could list hundreds! Can I cop out and tell you my main influences instead? Alongside Elly Griffiths, these would be Liane Moriarty, Kate Atkinson and Sophie Hannah! 

A Stranger’s House by Clare Chase is now available to purchase in paperback. Click here for buying options: http://www.choc-lit.com/dd-product/a-strangers-house/

 

strangers house

About the book: 

What if you were powerless to protect the person you cared about most?

When Ruby finds out that her partner has done the unforgivable, she has no option but to move out of their home. With nowhere else to go, a job house-sitting in Cambridge seems like the perfect solution.

But it’s soon clear the absent owner hurts everyone he gets close to, and Ruby’s faced with the fallout. As violent repercussions unfold, her instinct is to investigate: it’s a matter of self-preservation. And besides, she’s curious…

But Ruby’s new boss, Nate Bastable, has his eye on her and seems determined to put a stop to her sleuthing. Is he simply worried for the welfare of a member of staff, or is there something altogether more complicated – and potentially dangerous – at play?

clare-wartnaby-1

About the Author:

Clare Chase writes women sleuth mysteries set in London and Cambridge. She fell in love with the capital as a student, living in the rather cushy surroundings of Hampstead in what was then a campus college of London University.

After graduating in English Literature, she moved to Cambridge and has lived there ever since. She’s fascinated by the city’s contrasts and contradictions, which feed into her writing. She’s worked in diverse settings – from the 800-year-old University to one of the local prisons – and lived everywhere from the house of a Lord to a slug-infested flat. The terrace she now occupies presents a good happy medium.

As well as writing, Clare loves family time, art and architecture, cooking, and of course, reading other people’s books.

She lives with her husband and teenage children, and currently works at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

 

Here is where you can buy A Strangers House and find out more about Author Clare Chase:

Goodreads.

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Any good bookshop!

Here is where you can find Clare:

Twitter/@ClareChase_

ClareChase.com

 

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Posted by on February 12, 2017 in author interviews, Books

 

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Coffee, Tea and Caroline James. Author Interview

Coffee, Tea and Caroline James. Author Interview

Vacances Plage Couple-couche de soleil

Today, I am bringing you an interview with Author Caroline James whose book ‘Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me’ has just been released. I also have a brilliant book trailer to share with you.

AUTHOR CAROLINE JAMES (PROFESSIONAL PROMO SHOTS 14.08.2015)

AUTHOR CAROLINE JAMES

I have read Caroline’s book, my review will follow this post. I loved the book, and recommend it to all who enjoy a good hearty book of comedy, romance, food and laughs.

Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me’ by Caroline James. 

February 12th 2016 by Ramjam Publishing Company

 

I loved that clip, and if you read the book you will really want to go to the Caribbean! Now onto my questions for Caroline. 

Hi Caroline, thank you for answering my questions. I was unsure whether to have Tea, Coffee, Champagne or Rum punch to drink during this interview! 😉 

book on beach

1. I love that your book is based in the Caribbean, the West Country (UK) and London. Did you spend time in all 3 places for ‘research’? 

Yes I did. I lived in Cumbria for several years and visit as often as I can. I am very

fond of the Lake District and the beautiful countryside and it is a great pleasure to

write about it. I have family in the Caribbean and have been travelling there for many

years. Barbados is a stunning island and life there is very different from the one I

lead here. It seemed natural to send my two Cumbrian characters, Jo and Hattie, to

a place that I know well and let them, through the pages of the novel, feel the warm

restorative glow of a welcoming Caribbean holiday. 


 

2. It was great to find out what all the characters that I love have been up to. Do you have a favourite character and did they come from a certain inspiration (e.g a person, or people)?

Hattie is probably my favourite character. She is a no-nonsense sort of person who

has a heart of gold and in her own way is very funny without trying to be. She’s not

based on anyone but an amalgamation of characters that I’ve observed in the past. I

would like us all to have a Hattie in our lives – a true friend and supportive rock when

you need her.


 

 3. I love your quote ‘ The time to be happy is now’, do you want to tell us where you got this from?

My mum always said this to me. What she meant was that we should be happy right

now, in the moment, no matter what is going on around us. I think it is a lovely quote

and say it often to myself. She had a very positive attitude towards believing that

living life in the positive not the negative enables good things to happen. I think she

was right.


 

4. Do you have a specific or special place to write? 

Yes, I do. I have a small oak desk that I bought at an auction a few years ago. I use it

just for writing and writing paraphernalia. This is in a corner of the room with a high

ceiling and vermillion painted walls, it is very atmospheric. I tuck myself away with a

favourite chair and cushion, light a fragrant candle,sip from a big mug of coffee and

nibble on a packet of biscuits and then when everything is just right, I begin to write.


 

5. What book are you reading at the moment?

I’ve just read The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid. It is a short novel,

beautifully written and I read it very quickly as the tale gathered tension. It is an

interesting analysis of the state of the world we live in today. I really enjoyed it.


 6. I love that your books and characters love their food, especially cake! I understand that you love to bake too. What is your favourite cake or recipe and do these help your inspiration in your books?

My background has always been in the hospitality industry. I loathed school and the

only two subjects I ever took an interest in were English and Cookery. Cookery has

always been a part of my working life and I love to bake and nurture my friends and

family through baking. A visitor will always get a slice of cake with their cup of tea.

My favourite is probably salted caramel brownie – so easy to do but so scummy, but

I made baklava for the first time recently and experimented with the spicy filling, it

was delicious!


7. Are we going to hear more from Hattie, Jo and the rest of the ‘Coffee, Tea’ crew? I hope so. 

Yes, I am afraid you are! Coffee Tea The Boomers & Me will be published later in the

year and introduces some new characters into the mix. We have an aging Major who

is sozzled most of the time and Kate, an IT specialist who has sold her successful

business and is looking for love and finds it in the arms of the irresistible Andy Mack.

The all come together when they stay at Boomerville – Jo’s new business. The book

is about having a blast in middle and later years when most folk think they are over

the hill. With Hattie’s help and hair-brained schemes, life for our boomers most certainly begins again.


 

About Caroline James.

car james


Caroline James was born in Cheshire and wanted to be a writer from an early age. She trained, however, in the catering trade and worked and travelled both at home and abroad.

Caroline’s debut novel, Coffee, Tea, The Gypsy & Me shot to #3 on Amazon and was Ebook of the Week in The Sun newspaper. Her second novel, So, You Think You’re A Celebrity… Chef? has been described as wickedly funny: ‘AbFab meets MasterChef in a Soap…’

Coffee Tea The Caribbean & Me was a Finalist at The Write Stuff, London Book Fair 2015 and the judge’s comments included: “Caroline is a natural story-teller with a gift for humour in her writing.” The book will be published February 2016.

Caroline has owned and run many catering related businesses and cookery is a passion alongside her writing, combining the two with her love of the hospitality industry and romantic fiction. She has published short stories and is a member of the RNA. Caroline writes articles on food and celebrity based interviews and is Feature Editor for a lifestyle magazine. When she’s not running her hospitality business and writing, Caroline can generally be found with her nose in a book and her hand in a box of chocolates, she also likes to climb mountains and contemplate life.

CJ Books on beach background

 

LINKS:

GOODREADS Coffee, Tea, The Caribbean and Me.

AMAZON.CO.UK

AMAZON.COM

TWITTER CAROLINEJAMES12

CarolineJamesAuthor.co.uk

Facebook – AuthorCarolineJames

book on beach

 

My book review of ‘Coffee, Tea The Caribbean and Me’ will be on my blog soon, so keep your eyes open for it. If you have read any of Caroline’s other books, I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

What did you think of the book trailer? Are you inspired to pick up this book? What would you ask an Author if you had the pleasure of asking them a question? 

Until next time, Happy Reading! ♥

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
 
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Posted by on February 27, 2016 in author interviews

 

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Guest Post: by Sue Webb – Author of ‘Sand in My Pants’

Guest Post: by Sue Webb – Author of ‘Sand in My Pants’

‘Sand in My Pants’ was released on 10th April, 2015. I read this book and really enjoyed it. Before I post my review up tomorrow, I have a guest post from the lovely author Sue Webb for you. 

Sue tells us all about her creation of Sand in My Pants, and why she chose Scuba Diving!

Thank you Sue, and here goes:

SIMPBANNER

The Creation of Sand in My Pants By Sue Webb.

People have asked me, “Sue, what is your book about?

It’s a great question…with no easy answer. Ostensibly, it’s a book about travelling the world, scuba diving. But,really it is more than just that….

I’m sitting on the patio feeling the warm embrace of the sun. The fountain softly gurgles; the mellifluous water compliments the melodic call of a meadowlark, atop an old oak. The faint flittering of a hummingbirds iridescent wings announces its arrival. It suspends itself in air, then dives to-and-fro extracting sweet nectar from its feeder.

The air is freshly scented with the fragrance of spring blooms, most distinctly, hyacinths. This is my world now; the world in my book is a different world.

It’s a world that most can’t relate to. It’s a bigger world- more exotic,lusher, more dangerous, and intriguing. It’s about parts of the planet – most will never travel to or be privy to. Having been fortunate enough to privilege the unexplored and underwater portions of our globe, I felt an obligation to share the beauty, the excitement, the discoveries and a bit of the knowledge I gained along the way.

My husband and I, spent over twenty years, exploring the globe. It enriched our lives in many ways. The places we visited, the people we met, the experiences we shared — all melded together — to provide me with an understanding of life, that otherwise I might have only dreamed of.

Comparing different countries, traditions and cultures proved insightful. Although distinct differences were apparent in people; overall people seemed to be pretty much the same. I saw people laugh and cry; express jubilance and sadness. I witnessed a variety of emotions among people, however their kindness impressed the most.

 I can recall many examples, I will share only a few for now. One rainy day on Tonga, out on a mountain bike ride —or push bikes, as the locals referred to them—we got stuck in mud about a foot deep.

Walking toward us, came a thin woman with two young children in tow. She motioned to them, saying something in Tongan; off the youngsters scampered. They soon returned, each with a stick in their hands. The frail female issued more instructions in Tongan. The young boy and girl, proceeded to use their sticks in an attempt to poke mud out from between the spokes.

As I stood there watching them, I thought, what can I possibly give them in return? I recalled I had stashed an orange pop in my backpack. As I pulled it out, the lean woman’s face lit up. “Never had a bottled soda.” I knew it would be shared.

I learned although we share many similarities as people—we are all individuals. Probably no two people who read my book will come away with the same impression. I wrote about what I found funny, intriguing, or of interest to me. The great thing about a book is, when you open it, you fall into it…and it becomes your world.

So then, I welcome you. Open the cover, and become members of our family. For what I discovered, and you might also after reading my book, we’re all members of the same family- the family of man.

 sand in my pants

 

Sue’s- Why Scuba Dive?

1. 70% of the earth’s surface is water-covered.

2. Diving allows you to meet nice, like-minded people.

3. Gives you an opportunity to travel (to exotic locales).

4. Have a chance to enjoy various types of fresh seafood.

5. Have an opportunity to try unusual foods and experience new cuisines.

6. Provides you with a reason to spend a day outdoors, afloat, working on your tan.

7. Makes for fun-filled vacations with a good-time activity.

8. Allows the chance to observe a silent world of natural beauty, the only sound being the soft gurgle of a regulator.

9. It’s fun- being weightless in the water.

# 10. Schlepping your gear around helps create great muscles!!

Sue (Large)

Sue Webb. (Author).

Thank you very much to Sue for writing this guest post and explaining to us the thoughts behind her book and her travels.

My book review of ‘Sand in My Pants’ will be up on my blog tomorrow, so keep your eyes out for my thoughts on this marvellous book.

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2015 in author interviews

 

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Interview with Author, Rachel Tetley.

Interview with Author of Guardian of the Underworld, Rachel Tetley. 

Congratulations on your new book Rachel. It really was very good and I would like to say what a creative imagination you have. I have a few questions that I think yours and my readers would like to hear your answers for, so here goes.

 Would you like to tell us a little bit about yourself?

Well, even as a little girl, I was always someone who was ‘up for’ an adventure. My best friend was a boy called Billy Lang, who lived down the lane from me, and as a result, the adventures that we had, tended to be much more boysie than girlie. I think this fuelled my thirst for adventure even as an adult, leading me through a number of experiences as well as circumstances beyond my control, before eventually finding the space to be able to write an adventure for everyone to enjoy.

I started writing the story whilst I was pregnant with my first daughter Gaby, however I lost Gaby’s father in a car accident, followed shortly by my mother who had suffered with breast cancer in Gaby’s first couple of years. At that time, I didn’t really know what the story was going to be about. I had only written the first five pages and had set out to create a Blytonesque story for my daughter in a similar vain to The Magic Faraway Tree, but the five pages were filed away to allow me to concentrate on other things.

A couple of years later, I fell into the wrong relationship, having not given myself chance to truly get over the loss of Gaby’s dad and my mother, but decided to give it a chance despite my better judgement. I had always wanted to go to Oxford and study law, so I went back and studied some more a-levels, taking them in one year instead of two and was awarded my place at Oxford. In the meantime, I had my second daughter Charlotte.

Unfortunately, it became clear that Oxford wasn’t going to work for us at this time, so instead, I started my own catering business in Wiltshire whilst pursuing my second life-long ambition, to get to Badminton Horse Trials with my horse at the time ‘Pug’. The business became hugely successful over the five years that I ran it, however it was clear that my relationship with Charlottes dad was a destructive one, so I left with the girls and moved onto a Wiltshire farm. Shortly afterwards, I went to my father’s 50th birthday party and met the love of my life, Piers.

Piers already had two boys, Henry and William, who lived with him and were very similar ages to my two girls and as a result, got on with each other beautifully. We moved in together back down in Devon and Piers later proposed.

After running my catering business remotely for a year, I sold it on and at a similar time, Piers and I had our own little girl, Sophia. With Sophia sleeping for four hours a day, and the business sold, I came across the five pages of my story and decided it was time to finish it.

My daughter Charlotte, who is a very capable writer herself, had told me about a dream in which she had slipped into another world through a whirlpool. That alongside living in the most idyllic location in Devon surrounded by woodland with a river running through it, the rest of the story was born! I have now finished writing the next in the series, The Book of Light: Underworld Chronicles Book Two, which is currently going through the editing process, as well as working on a completely different type of story about a stowaway.

Apart from writing, I still enjoy eventing my horse, playing the piano by ear, Tennis, any extreme sports and of course baking. I like to try and make sure there is something homemade and yummy on the side every day, which little Sophia very much enjoys participating in! I have a website which I am in the process of putting together with some of my recipes called The Naughty Kitchen. I also enjoy baking our own bread.

Your storyline, characters and descriptions were so creative, how did you come up with the initial idea?

Well living with five children in the middle of a woods, as well as a dream which Charlotte had in which she had an adventure in another world having slipped into a whirlpool, were the perfect ingredients to put together the storyline for Guardian of the Underworld. Of course there are lots of elements of my childhood in the story and in particular, the characters are very much based on people in my life. For example, Grandpa was inspired by Piers parents, and Arianna-me!

What age range would you say your book is aimed at?

9-12

Did you design the cover and illustrations of the book yourself?

Yes, I love to draw and paint, so I really enjoyed the opportunity to try and bring the story alive with some of the images I had in my head whilst writing it.

 Your book is aimed at a young audience, is there a message or moral of your story you were hoping the readers would get? (Without any spoilers of course).

I certainly wanted to get across the importance of family, but also in particular, forgiveness.

And finally (and hopefully), is there another book on its way?

There certainly is! It is called The Book of Light: Underworld Chronicles Book Two, which is almost entirely based in the Underworld and talks about The Knights Templar. I hope to have it back from the editors and ready by April this year (2015)

Thank you for sharing your answers with us Rachel, it was lovely to speak to you and so interesting to hear how your book came about. I certainly am looking forward to your next book.

 
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Posted by on January 30, 2015 in author interviews, Books

 

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Book signing of ‘The First Man’ by Tobias Wade.

Book signing of ‘The First Man’ by Tobias Wade.
Thank you to author Tobias Wade for sending me a copy of this book.
Book: The First Man
Author: Tobias Wade
ISBN: ISBN No: 9780662326237 
tobias wade
The Description:

Farris Mathalion did not believe in the old stories, not until her own brother was kidnapped by monsters to send her on a fantastical journey. She travels both within the mind and without, taking a path of harrowing adventure and personal enlightenment as she strives to rescue him. 

THE FIRST MAN is the first volume in a two-part young adult/fantasy series that can be read on many different levels; whether the reader appreciates the excitement of the many fast-paced action scenes, the surreal beauty and mystery of new worlds, the philosophical musings of the guides along the way, or the spiritual path of overcoming reality that Farris finds before her. She will travel through the seven kingdoms of the earth, each woven into the deep mythology of the land she passes, and each representative of one aspect of spiritual enlightenment. 

In the first volume she passes through the surface world as well as the lands of fear, pleasure and illusion below the earth. She is accompanied in her journeys by a variety of strange creatures, including her faithful pet goat Bumble, Gloria the magical fish, and a romantic interest that makes uncertain love and looming betrayal pervasive themes throughout. 

About Author:  This is what Tobias told me.
As a child I constructed a spaceship capable of superluminal speeds powered by a fusion core reactor. The submission was denied by NASA on the grounds that it was made entirely of legos. In high school I was told that I could do anything I wanted in life, while only being taught everything that I didn’t want to be. I probably deserved the detentions I received. In college I completed two bachelors of science in psychology and physiology, working as a neuroscientist with plans towards medical school. At last I had life figured out! Then a horrible thing happened. I actually achieved my dream. The infinite potential of my future lay down into ordered lines, and I knew that the only logical choice was to give it all up and become a writer. 
How to get a copy of The First Man.

Publisher: A-Argus Better Book Publishers, Inc.
 
Tobias Wade is having a book signing and a television interview. If you would like to go along, then Mr. Wade tells me he would love to meet his readers.
I am about to start reading this book, but wanted to post this synopsis of the book up before the signing just incase any readers are free to go along to the signing and would like to watch the author on the television. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to as I’m based in Scotland, but would love to hear feedback from those of you that are able to attend.
Author Fair/Signing
Jan 10th 1-3pm
Tucson, AZ, Bookmans, 6230 E. Speedway 520-748-9555.
TV interview
January 14th
Tucson Morning Blend
11-12 AM Pacific, 
Channel KGUN9
Author Fair/Signing
Jan 24rd, 12-3pm
Tucson, AZ, Bookmans, 3733 w in a road
Thank you to Tobias for sending me a copy of your book and I wish you many successes with it.
chocolate-heart-of-chocolate1
 
 
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Posted by on January 5, 2015 in Books

 

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